Labour's Yvette Cooper said those who suffered abuse at former facility in Consett, County Durham, deserve answers
Nineteen former prison staff are expected to be interviewed by police amid claims there was a paedophile ring operating at the now-defunct facility in Consett, County Durham in the 1970s and 80s.
It comes after Durham Police confirmed more than 1,000 men have made reports about historic sexual and/or physical abuse following the force re-launching the investigation in 2013.
Now, Labour’s Yvette Cooper said the Home Office must stop dithering over a planned over-arching parliamentary probe into child abuse and help bring victims closure.
Home Secretary Theresa May is still deciding on the scope of a parliamentary abuse inquiry months after it was decided it should take place.
New Zealand’s Justice Lowell Goddard was finally appointed chairwoman of the inquiry in February.
Ms Cooper said: “The abuse suffered at Medomsley is appalling. It is now vital a full police investigation is carried out into what was going on at the youth detention centre and ensure criminal charges are brought against all those who carried out or were complicit in abuse.
“And it is also important compensation claims are processed and allocated funding paid out to victims as soon as possible.
“We called for the Government to carry out an overarching review of child abuse – including historic abuse in institutional settings.
“The Home Office has dithered and made basic errors in getting this off the ground and so today, despite having a chair in place, we are no further forwards in getting to the truth.
“This investigation must now be made a priority, so all survivors of abuse, including those abused at Medomsley, can start to get answers as to why these crimes were able to be committed against them.”
It is believed that the Home Office could be forced to pay out in excess of £12m in compensation to victims.
Former prison officer Neville Husband was jailed for eight years in 2003 for abusing five youths.
The media attention surrounding the trial saw other victims come forward and he was jailed for a further two years for other attacks. He died in 2010, after being released from prison.
His former colleague Leslie Johnson, who was jailed for six years in 2005 for sexual offences, has also since died.
Durham Police is still in the process of tracing and speaking to a number of former prison officers.